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Butler holds players-only talk after training tirade

Jimmy Butler held a players-only meeting with Minnesota Timberwolves players on Thursday, a day after he reported to the team for a first, contentious practice.

Butler, who proclaimed Wednesday his sole concern was with winning, said he reiterated to players in the meeting that his issues were with management and not his teammates.

Butler confirmed the meeting in a text to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. The news was first reported by The Athletic.

The Timberwolves earlier Thursday canceled practice and media availability. A short practice had been scheduled for noon, but it was called off. No reason was given for the cancellation.

Butler made a dramatic return to the Timberwolves on Wednesday, boldly challenging teammates, coaches and front office executives in the session. Butler then spoke at length with ESPN’s Nichols, discussing his contentious relationship with the team and coaches.

Butler was vociferous and intense throughout Wednesday’s scrimmage sessions, targeting president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, general manager Scott Layden and teammates, including Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Butler said in Wednesday’s interview with ESPN that the source of his discontent was the lack of a committment to winning.

“I think that’s the part everybody doesn’t see,” Butler said. “I’m not going to say no names. I’m going to be honest, if your number one priority isn’t winning, people can tell. That’s the battle. Now there is a problem between people. That’s where the disconnect is.”

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